Thieves oil recipe – the perfect home made zero waste antibacterial household cleaner!

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thieves blend recipe zero waste week

thieves blend recipe zero waste weekI shared a photo of my homemade multi purpose cleaner (Thieves blend) on Instagram during Zero Waste Week and a few people asked for my recipe.

It smells so AMAZING and actually makes cleaning kinda enjoyable!

Before I share my recipe, I want to tell you the story of the thieves blend, as I think you’ll find it fascinating…

Legend has it that during the Bubonic Plague, four thieves went round houses, stealing from those who had succumbed to the illness.

Upon their arrest a judge offered a more lenient sentence if the thieves admitted how they’d escaped the illness whilst being so close to the sick.

The story goes that they covered themselves, their clothes – and they inhaled – herbs and spices that protected their immune system.

Just goes to show the power of nature, right?

My blend contains cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemon and other essential oils. I wish you had a scratch ‘n’ sniff screen so you could experience it for yourselves! Until that technology reaches us, why not follow this recipe and make your own? After a couple of days of the oils working their synergistic magic together you’ll find this scent uplifting and invigorating.

From personal experience, our daughter’s school was shut during the winter due to a sickness bug – nearly 200 out of 750 students and staff were off sick. I’m usually a pretty slovenly when it comes to house work, but during this epidemic, I used the thieves oil recipe on door handles, light switches, toilet flush and all work surfaces twice a day.

None of us suffered so much as a tummy ache.

Was it the thieves oil blend protecting our immune systems? I don’t know. But what I do know, is this cleaning spray is in daily use here at Zero Waste towers. You’ll find all sorts of variations of this recipe around the internet, so do experiment and make this your own.


1 tablespoon vodka
45 drops clove essential oil
20 drops cinnamon essential oil
35 drops lemon essential oil
25 eucalyptus essential oiol
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil


In an empty spray bottle place the vodka, then add all the essential oils
Top up with water, screw the top back on and give it a shake to disperse the oils
Leave for a couple of days in a cool, dark place then use as you would any multi purpose or antibacterial household cleaner


thieves blend recipe zero waste week


Rachelle Strauss
Rachelle Strauss
Rachelle Strauss is founder of and Both are leading websites for helping householders reduce landfill waste. Her work has attracted media stories and engagement in documentaries, film and radio both locally and abroad.


  1. Louise Thomas says:

    Hi, could you tell me how much water I should add to the oils/vodka please? I don’t want to over/under dilute it.
    Thank you xx

    • Hi Louise,

      I’m basing this on most people refilling a container they have bought, which will be around 500ml. So any container holding from 400-600mls will be fine to fill up to the top with water.


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